Anal Sac Disease


Commonly called anal glands but more accurately are termed anal sacs they lie either side on the anus at 4 and 8 o'clock with ducts opening at the junction of the anal mucosa and skin. They are lined with glandular cells producing a pungent smelling discharge usually excreted during defaecation.


Blocked Anal Sacs - sometimes the secretion doesn't expel normally and the sacs become impacted and uncomfortable leading to irritaion and "scooting"- manual expression usually releives this.


Anal Sac Infection - can lead on from impaction and the discharge can become red, bloody and even more smelly than usual - again manual expression can help but occassionally the sacs will need to be flushed and antibiotics used to treat the infection.


Anal Sac Tumours - can occur and are usually malignant being locally invasive and spreading to regional lymph nodes.


Dogs with repeated chronic problems with anal glands, together with those affected by tumours are best treated by removing the anal sacs altogether. 




Obesity is now classed as a disease. It is estimated that 35-50% of dogs are classified as being overweight or obese. Obesity is due to excess calorie intake over expenditure and can be due to overfeeding, (table scraps, snacks and treats), too little exercise or both.

















Risk factors for being obese are:


  • Animal factors - middle-age, female gender, being neutered, certain breeds (Labrador Retrievers, Cavalier King Charles Spaniels, Cocker Spaniels, Beagles)

  • Dog’s lifestyle - indoor living, inactivity

  • Owner factors - old age, human obesity, female gender, close owner–pet relationship

  • Dietary factors -number of meals/snacks fed daily, table scraps, dogs present during the preparation and consumption of human meals, own-brand versus premium-brand pet foods.

  • Behaviour - over-humanisation, feeding behaviour, owner shows less interest in preventative pet healthcare

  • Other - certain concurrent metabolic diseases, some medical drugs e.g. steroids


Health Risks


Pets that are overweight will be prone to a number of serious medical conditions that are likely to reduce both the length and quality of their life.  Studies have shown that overweight dogs can have a lifespan reduction of almost 2 years. These conditions include:


  • Orthopaedic disease – ruptured cruciate ligaments, osteoarthritis, hip dysplasia

  • Metabolic disease - diabetes mellitus, hypothyroidism hyperadrenocorticism.

  • Urogenital disease - urinary tract disease, incontinence, bladder stones, whelping difficulties.

  • Cardiorespiratory disease – high blood pressure, tracheal collapse, compromised heart function, airway dysfunction.

  • Other - dental disease, pancreatitis and possible increased risk of cancer, increased risk of anaesthetic complications.


What You Can Do


Factors such as food, exercise and behaviour we are all in control of and can therefore use these to influence our pets’ weight

We can accurately weigh your pet and compare it with the breed standard to establish whether there is a problem or not. It is also important to condition score your pet to get an idea of body size.


To reduce the weight of your pet it is no good simply reducing the amount of food fed (unless it is getting a lot of excessive treats!!) as this can lead to "hunger misery" and may also lower the intake of essential vitamins and minerals. The best way is to set a regular exercise regime and to feed a diet specially formulated to have a low calorie content without compromising on other essential nutrients. Specialised weight management diets help to support safe and healthy weight loss. The current recommendation is to aim for a steady 1–3% reduction in body weight per week.


Animals tend to adapt and lose weight differently on individual weight management diets and sometimes this is due to palatability or ingredients, or it may simply be due to their own unique response. Therefore if we are getting a poor response or your pet won’t take one of the diets it is always worth trying a different one. Most of the diets have the following qualities


  • You should avoid feeding your cat/dog scraps from the table or any left overs.

  • Always check the daily recommended feeding guide on the back of the food packaging- it will be useful to weigh out the daily recommended amount at the beginning of the day.

  • Ensure that everyone in the family is aware that you have fed your cat/dog so they do not overfeed them by giving them another meal.

  • Don’t leave any food lying around.

  • When preparing or eating your own food keep your dog/ cat in another room.

  • Divide the daily amount into several meals – try not to feed too late at night as your pet will not be burning many calories when they are sleeping


If you want your pet to benefit from a weight loss programme ask one of the vets or nurses. We will give your pet a medical examination to exclude any other causes of obesity and then weigh your pet at fortnightly intervals to monitor the weight loss.


Signs of an overweight cat are:

  • Not being able to see their ribs or spine

  • Not being able to see a waistline

  • Sagging of the abdomen

  • Face looking rounder, larger cheeks.

  • Having difficulty cleaning itself- matted dirty fur.

  • Not being very active, lazy, finding it difficult to jump up and move around.

  • Not wanting to play games.

Signs of an overweight dog are:

  • Not being able to see their ribs or spine

  • Not being able to see a waist line

  • Sagging of the abdomen

  • Face looking bigger, rounder

  • Not wanting to go for walks/ lagging behind on walks.

  • Panting all the time

  • Appears to be tired and lazy

  • Needs help to get up and down/ out of the car/ not moving around as much

  • Not wanting to play games

  • Not getting up when barking